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Valentine’s Day: How more Indians want personalised greeting cards over standard designs


Updated on: 14 February,2024 08:50 AM IST  |  Mumbai
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As the world celebrates Valentine's Day today, mid-day spoke to people who love making and receiving greeting cards. As they highlight how they love personalised greeting cards, city shopkeepers say the demand for the traditional ones have reduced

Valentine’s Day: How more Indians want personalised greeting cards over standard designs

Image for representational purposes only. Photo Courtesy: iStock

Key Highlights

  1. Noronha: I hate WhatsApp forwards because they lack magic
  2. Kareem: I love sending personalised cards to my friends and colleagues
  3. Kachwalla: There is zero demand for greeting cards now since the rise of social media

“I hate WhatsApp forwards because they don’t have the same magic as greeting cards,” shares Mumbaikar Analisa Noronha. “The images on my cards are always drawn by hand, painted and then scanned to make copies of the cards using card paper,” adds the Mumbai-based freelance content writer. While she usually has done it for Christmas cards, she has also made them for Valentine’s Day as a child and teen, but hesitated to give it to people she was seeing at the time. “I wish I would have done this as a teen,” adds the Vasaikar, who says today she would love to give traditional Valentine’s Day cards with the hearts, lace and more.
The 1990s, if not before, were full of friends and family sending greeting cards to you for different festivals throughout the year. It was no different for Valentine’s Day, which till recently saw people getting pink teddy bears with hearts, and cards that people used to pour out their love for one another. These days, the colour of the pink teddy bears appear to be fading and so is the art of sending cards or so it seems like the shops are mostly empty compared to before and feels like all of it was a lifetime ago.
Every year, the world celebrates Valentine’s Day on February 14 and as marketing teams around the world seem to be marketing everything from services, packages and content, the buzz around greeting cards seems to be missing. However, there are people who believe in the tradition of sending cards because it is so much better than any electronic today. While it may seem ancient, the emotions are best expressed through it.
Noronha remembers how she used to get Christmas cards from her family living in the United Kingdom growing up and she loved every aspect about it. However, most recently when she did try sending them, she found it difficult to get postage stamps and the experience with the post office wasn’t good either. It is also the reason why she reserves most of her post for Christmas season. However, that doesn’t deter her from putting her time and effort into the cards. She shares, “I also insert a poem into each card. For others, the poetry is personalised to fit their situation or story. Like if they are studying abroad or working somewhere or have a fluffy cat or dog, or if they are sad or going through something, I write along those lines.” 

Joy of giving cards
It is no different for Bengaluru-based Rehna Kareem who absolutely loves the idea of giving cards to people. She shares, “I love receiving and sending cards, especially when it has something funny doodled on it. Most times I love sending personalised cards to my friends and colleagues, but sometimes I love doing this thing where when I’m travelling where I send them a postcard from that post office to their home. I recently did that when I saw a postcard at Mario Miranda’s Museum in Goa and posted a card to my friend in their special edition Goa carnival envelope. So exciting to be able to get mail.” It so happened that when her friend went to Japan next, she sent her postcard from there. “She sent me a postcard of Mount Fuji from there and I thought that was the best gift ever,” she expresses.
Interestingly, Kareem, who is a content writer by day also moonlights as a doodle artist, so whenever she is sketching, the 35-year-old is always thinking about how she can make it into a postcard, beyond stickers or posters. “I used to think that doodles are the shy cousins of cartoons, and I definitely feel the same way about postcards. Postcards are the shy cousins of posters and murals.” Over the years, Kareem has sent cards to her friends for Valentine’s Day. They are not like your regular greeting cards but personalised ones that makes it even more unique like Noronha prefers.

As many others who are optimistic about love, Kareem says Valentine's Day shouldn't be just one day and instead should be celebrated throughout the year. 

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